EASA welcomes the Digital Single Market Strategy issued by the EU Commission today. The Commission rightly places the emphasis on the need for an interconnected strategy in an evolving digital economy. 

We applaud the Commission’s emphasis on better access to online goods and services for consumers and businesses across Europe. Advertising has an important role to play in this respect: it drives competition, funds content and is a catalyst for product innovation. At the macro level, the ad value chain creates jobs and contributes to growth and investment across the EU. 

But to benefit consumers, businesses and indeed Europe, advertising must be responsible. Our experience over the last twenty years has shown us that the best way to achieve this is through well-enforced advertising self-regulation.

Well enforced ad self-regulation makes sure that consumers can trust in the advertising they see, both off and online, meaning they can find out about the best offers and products for their needs. It also helps to create a level playing field for business, no matter which member state they are based in.

In the context of a connected Digital Single Market, ad self-regulation is well suited to the rapidly evolving online environment; it can respond quickly to new developments in technology and marketing practices.

At EASA, we ensure effective standards of practice are in place for self-regulatory systems. Up-to-date guidance, such as our newly launched Best Practice Recommendation on Digital Marketing Communications, ensures ad standards are relevant and future-proof.

We remain at forefront of developments in new ways of advertising, for example as part of the pan-European self-regulatory programme for Online Behavioural Advertising. Our Cross-Border Complaints Mechanism helps facilitate consistent protection across the Single Market.

By making sure that advertising continues to be responsible, EASA and its members are committed to working with the European Commission in its endeavour to create a fully connected Digital Single Market that benefits consumers, business and society.

With today’s launch of the Digital Single Market Strategy, we ask the Commission to continue to give advertising self-regulation proper recognition and the space to operate within a sensible legislative framework.